Hong Kong medical journal = Xianggang yi xue za zhi 2017 08 04() doi 10.12809/hkmj164684
Dietary restrictions are common among patients with eczema, and such practice may lead to diminished bone mineral density. This study investigated dietary intake and bone mineral density in Hong Kong Chinese children with eczema.
This cross-sectional and observational study was conducted in a university-affiliated teaching hospital in Hong Kong. Chinese children aged below 18 years with physician-diagnosed eczema were recruited from our paediatric allergy and dermatology clinics over a 6-month period in 2012. Subjects with stable asthma and/or allergic rhinitis who were free of eczema and food allergy as well as non-allergic children were recruited from attendants at our out-patient clinics as a reference group. Intake of various foods and nutrients was recorded using a food frequency questionnaire that was analysed using Foodworks Professional software. Bone mineral density at the radius and the tibia was measured by quantitative ultrasound bone sonometry, and urinary cross-linked telopeptides were quantified by immunoassay and corrected for creatinine level.
Overall, 114 children with eczema and 60 other children as reference group were recruited. Eczema severity of the patients was classified according to the objective SCORing Atopic Dermatitis score. Males had a higher daily energy intake than females (median, 7570 vs 6736 kJ; P=0.035), but intake of any single food item or nutrient did not differ between them. Compared with the reference group, children with eczema had a higher intake of soybeans and miscellaneous dairy products and lower intake of eggs, beef, and shellfish. Children with eczema also consumed less vitamin D, calcium, and iron. The mean (standard deviation) bone mineral density Z-score of children with eczema and those in the reference group were 0.52 (0.90) and 0.55 (1.12) over the radius (P=0.889), and 0.02 (1.03) and -0.01 (1.13) over the tibia (P=0.886), respectively. Urine telopeptide levels were similar between the groups. Calcium intake was associated with bone mineral density Z-score among children with eczema.
Dietary restrictions are common among Chinese children with eczema in Hong Kong, who have a lower calcium, vitamin D, and iron intake. Nonetheless, such practice is not associated with changes to bone mineral density or bone resorptive biomarker.